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Does Trader Joe’s Sell Cinnamon Sticks? (Answered)

Does Trader Joe’s Sell Cinnamon Sticks

The smell and taste of cinnamon are usually associated with fall and winter. That’s exactly when many of us start using the spice in hot drinks and baked goods.

For this reason, cinnamon sticks are considered to be a seasonal product at Trader Joe’s. You’ll usually find them in stores around Thanksgiving.

But are there any places where you can find cinnamon sticks year-round? And what are the best substitutes for this product? Let’s find out!

What Are Cinnamon Sticks?

Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of some tree species. The spice can be sold as a fine powder or in the form of sticks. The latter are, basically, the bark that has been rolled in hollow pieces that are around a few inches long.

The sticks usually have a woodsy, earthy, and spicy aroma and a mildly sweet taste with warm, spicy undertones and slight bitterness.

The bark is typically harvested in fall, but the cinnamon sticks are available year-round as they can easily last for a few years if properly stored.

Types of Cinnamon Sticks

There are two main types of cinnamon – Ceylon and cassia.

Cassia cinnamon comes from the Cinnamomum cassia tree. Even though it originated in China, today cassia cinnamon is grown across eastern and southern Asia as well. The sticks of this type of cinnamon have a rougher texture and are considered to be of lower quality. It is also quite cheap.

Ceylon cinnamon is made of the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. It is native to Sri Lanka and some parts of India. The ‘true cinnamon’ is more expensive than cassia, and the sticks are tight, have soft layers, and are tan-brown in color.

Trader Joe’s sells cassia cinnamon sticks, but the truth is that many consumers prefer this type as it has a more robust flavor.

What Is Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe’s is an American chain of neighborhood grocery stores. At the moment, there are nearly 600 stores in 42 states.

The stores are known for their choice of interesting products and very affordable prices. Whenever possible, Trader Joe’s buys directly from suppliers which allows the chain to keep the prices low.

By the way, that’s one of the reasons why the stores do not offer coupons and don’t have sales – lowering the prices even more simply wouldn’t make any sense for the business.

What Products Are Sold at Trader Joe’s?

Around 80% of the items stocked by the store bear one of Trader Joe’s brand names. This is exactly what allows the chain to skip the middleman and buy directly from the vendors.

Some of the items include gourmet foods, vegetarian foods, wine and beer, organic foods, and so on. A lot of stores also have a wonderful selection of seasonal flowers and bouquets for amazing prices.

Trader Joe’s Brand Products

Trader Joe’s has its own Product Hall of Fame. At the beginning of every year, the company reaches out to its customers and asks them to vote for their favorite item sold in stores.

As the years have gone on, some of the items consistently won in their categories. So, Trader Joe’s decided to take these products out of the competition and put them in the Hall of Fame.

Here are some of the best items that Trader Joe’s has to offer:

  • Mandarin Orange Chicken
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
  • Unexpected Cheddar
  • Soy Chorizo

Does Trader Joe’s Sell Cinnamon Sticks?

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Cinnamon sticks at Trader Joe’s are a seasonal product. The stores usually have it around Thanksgiving, and you might be able to find some around Christmas time. The sticks are not available at all in spring and summer.

The good news, however, is that you will most likely be able to find ground cinnamon year-round at Trader Joe’s which can be used instead of the sticks.

But if you prefer to use cinnamon sticks in your recipes, then you might want to buy plenty of those when they are available at Trader Joe’s. When properly stored, whole spices can stay at the best quality for 3-4 years.

To check the current price and availability of Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Sticks, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Where Else to Find Cinnamon Sticks?

You can always find a wide range of various cinnamon sticks available on Amazon (including Trader Joe’s ones). Walmart, Whole Foods, and Target also sell cinnamon sticks year-round.

Cinnamon Sticks Alternatives

Ground cinnamon which is sold at Trader Joe’s throughout the year can become a great substitute for cinnamon sticks. Simply remember that one stick equals about ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Allspice and nutmeg are great alternatives as well.

How to Choose Cinnamon Sticks

If you’d prefer to buy true cinnamon rather than cassia, then look for the cinnamon sticks that have a more tan-brown color. Once you open the package, the smell should not be pungent. Unlike cassia, true cinnamon does not have a very strong flavor. Instead, it’s quite delicate.

To choose the freshest cinnamon sticks, you might want to rub a small part on your hand and smell it. If you feel a robust cinnamon smell, then the sticks are still fresh.

How to Use Cinnamon Sticks in Cooking and Baking

  • You can stir the cinnamon stick into hot cocoa, tea, or coffee. Use your stick as a stirrer and as it sits in the cup, it will slowly disintegrate and add a pleasant taste to the drink.
  • You can grind the sticks and mix them with the other ingredients to make an apple pie.
  • Cinnamon sticks can be added to flavor your pho when creating the broth.
  • You might also want to add the stick to your pot of rice when you’d be making a sweeter rice dish.

Final Thoughts

Though cinnamon sticks are only a seasonal product at Trader Joe’s, you can always find ground cinnamon in the store which is an excellent substitute for the sticks.

If you are looking for ‘true cinnamon’, then Trader Joe’s might not be the right place for you as they sell cassia cinnamon. With that being said, you might want to give the product a try as the taste and smell of cassia is a lot stronger.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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